Intertribal gene flow between the Ye'cuana and Yanomama: genetic analysis of an admixed village

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1983 Aug;61(4):411-22. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330610403.


Genetic exchange with a neighboring village of Ye'cuana Indians had introduced two alleles, Dia and ACPa, into the Yanomama Indian Village of Borabuk. After several generations, these alleles had reached frequencies of 0.08 and 0.10, respectively. These frequencies are puzzling because they are higher in Borabuk than in the Ye'cuana village from which they were derived. Single allele estimates of ancestral proportions obtained from either of these traits are biologically unrealistic and suggest that admixture is not a good explanation for genetic variation in Borabuk. Nevertheless, multiallelic admixture models are seen to produce credible estimates of ancestral proportions and to explain a large amount of allele frequency variation in Borabuk. When these results are compared with expectations derived froma formal pedigree analysis, good agreement is seen. Comparison of single allele estimates of ancestral proportions obtained from alleles at 11 loci, with multiallelic estimates obtained from the same 11 loci and with the pedigree-derived estimates, demonstrates the superiority of the multiallelic approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Blood Group Antigens / genetics*
  • Brazil
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency*
  • Humans
  • Indians, South American*
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Pedigree


  • Blood Group Antigens